Saturday, September 02, 2006

Saddle Sore of the Month

Here's a new feature that will likely be a monthly item. It's an award for the most egregious act involving a cyclist in the last month. These stories were collected through August, so it's possible that the links have expired.

The winner, of course, has to receive some sort of prize. I think it's most appropriate to make that a tin of Bag Balm, so each and every winner will receive a brand-new can of the stuff, provided they're willing to pay shipping and handling! Cash only, no checks or credit cards. Bag Balm works really well on saddle sores. Trust me.

All decisions are final, though some may be capricious, arbitrary, and rude. The judge reserves the right to mete out sarcasm and disrespect.


Ottawa driver who hit cyclists gets house arrest
Last Updated: Thursday, August 10, 2006 | 8:48 AM ET
CBC News

A man who side-swiped a group of Ottawa cyclists in his pickup truck was handed a conditional sentence Wednesday.

Richard Martin, 41, will spend six months under house arrest followed by a six-month night curfew. He also loses his driver's licence for a year and must pay $6,000 to the cyclists.

Martin was found guilty in April of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and for failing to remain at the scene of an accident after the June 2004 incident.

A dozen members of the Ottawa Bicycle Club were cycling on Riverside Drive when Martin passed the group in his truck, slowed down and clipped the lead rider.

The lead rider suffered serious injuries including a dislocated shoulder. Four others were injured in the resulting pileup.

During the trial, court heard that Martin, whose son was with him at the time, laughed about the incident.

Before the sentence was delivered, Martin apologized to his family for the humiliation he's caused but not to any of the cyclists.

First Runner Up

Man claims epileptic seizure led to cyclist's death

August 15, 2006

Good Morning Tennessee Reporter

MARYVILLE (WATE) -- During his first court appearance, the man police charged with killing a bicyclist on Highway 321 last week said his epilepsy is to blame.

Police say 46-year-old Taylor Carroll was trying to pass a tractor trailer on the shoulder of the highway when he hit and killed 48-year-old Jeffrey Roth.

Carroll's attorney says his client apparently had a seizure that day. "Mr. Carroll was terribly distraught when he hit Mr. Roth and he does not remember the chain of events leading up to the crash."

Carroll says he was taken from the scene to Blount County Memorial by ambulance minutes after Roth was hit.

He also told his attorney he has a long history of epileptic seizures and a letter from his doctor that clears him to drive a car.

Carroll is out of jail on a $75,000 bond.

His next court appearance is scheduled for September 27.

Yeah, right. He was having a seizure that allowed him to attempt passing a tractor-trailer by going around it on the right hand shoulder. He was driving well enough to stay on the road and not hit the truck. That seems to be a very convenient 'seizure'.

This month's Saddle Sore Winner!

A drum roll, please, maestro!

August 15, 2006

How Stiff Should Penalty Be In Cyclist's Death?

By Anita Kissee
and Web Staff

BEAVERTON, Ore. - How much is one life worth? That is what some people are asking after a recent accident in Beaverton that left a well-known cyclist dead and the driver with a $242 ticket.

Mike Wilberding, an Intel engineer, died August 1 at Southwest Fifth Street in Beaverton while riding his bike home from work.

The driver of the car that hit him, Aaron Hessel, said he did not see the cyclist in the bike lane when he turned left because he was blinded by the sun.

"I don't really find that a believable excuse," said cycling advocate Susan Otcenas. "Even if you believe him, if you believe that was what actually happened and the sun was truly in his eyes, then your next logical conclusion is that he was being negligent in piloting his vehicle someplace where he couldn't see where he was going."

Otcenas is working with other cyclists to convince the Washington County District Attorney to charge the driver with homicide and stiffen punishments for any driver who kills a cyclist or pedestrian.

"A human life is worth more than a $242 traffic ticket," said Otcenas.

Hessel's $242 ticket has been thrown out and the District Attorney will be reviewing the case and deciding whether to charge Hessel with Negligent Homicide.

I looked through the local court report and discovered that here in Oklahoma, you pay a larger fine for possession of marijuana than Mr. Hessel did for taking a life. In fact, it costs the same for Mr. Hessel to kill someone as compared to driving without a license here. That’ll show ‘em!


Blogger Tinker said...

It's good to see that people are getting busted for accidents involving cyclists. Dunno how many times I've had to dive off the road to avoid some lady on a cellphone. Of course the excuse is they "couldn't see the cyclist".

Same thing with motorcycles. With motorcycles there is no excuse at all. They're noisy, well lit, flashy, etc. They're supposed to be seen. Especially at night! Ever see a Goldwing at night? Like an X-mas tree with wheels. Anybody who hits one of those should be charged with vehicular homocide.

3:09 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

I'm curious, Tinker, as to why you 'dive off the road to avoid some lady on a cellphone'. I rarely have problems with inattentive motorists, especially when I'm commuting. I use a mirror attached to my glasses, and I use good lane positioning. It's a basic tenet of the Road1 curriculum and it really does work.

If you're interested, the classes are offered through Tulsa Parks Department.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Ainsley Wiles said...

Where I live in South Carolina, if there is no obvious proof that a cyclist was struck on purpose chances are the motorist walks, or drives away with little more than a scratch and dent. But hopefully that's changing.

2:44 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home